A couple co workers and myself registered for this hackathon to end homelessness in the St. Louis region. We are currently awaiting the true challenge of the hackathon. I will update this post more throughout the weekend.
So the hackathon is over. We didn’t win any prizes but learned several things about out team and pieces of our development process we can improve. We mainly use Ruby on Rails (Rails) as our development environment, some of the things we learned pertained to that style of development.
First, thing we learned is using generators is great, but I like my code formatted a certain way, different than the scaffold generators, generate code. This would mean we need to create our own set to use to quickly build an application. I have started a open source project for these generators, because I use Rails outside of work as well.
Second, I learned how uncomfortable I get writing code without any unit tests. I have come to believe that they are necessary, they help with not having to manually test multiple pieces of code continually. We chose not to use tests, we had parts of our app that didn’t work properly. Not sure how to feel here, I understand they take time and when you have less than 48 hours to develop a functioning app stuff gets cut. I am looking forward to build some generators, because it should help by pre generating those tests for us.
Overall it was a fun experience for my first hackathon and learned quite a bit about myself, my development skills, and my development style. I look forward to taking what I learned and improving myself over the next several months.